This time of year reminds us to pause and remember all the reasons we have to be thankful. It's a time when people come together to give back to their communities and spread kindness.
The power of philanthropy is often underestimated, but it has the ability to significantly impact our Eastern Jackson County communities. Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) has been at the forefront of philanthropy in the region for 41 years. So far this year, just over 300 Truman Heartland Community Foundation fundholders have contributed more than $2 million in funding to all kinds of nonprofit organizations.
December is traditionally the biggest month for giving, so we expect to see a significant increase in donations over the next six weeks. From Raytown to Raymore, Englewood to Tarsney Lakes, the thoughtful generosity of our friends and neighbors is heartening.
Earlier in November, we hosted our 28th Annual Competitive Grants Luncheon, awarding $453,733 in competitive grants to 59 local nonprofit agencies. The funding for these grants mainly comes from endowed funds set up through donor estate gifts. Just over $30,000 in additional funding was provided through the generosity of current Truman Heartland fundholders, the THCF Youth Advisory Council endowment fund, and the Junior Service League. Competitive grants help nonprofit organizations serving suburban Eastern Jackson and Cass County communities by providing much-needed programs and project funding.
The volunteers who served on the THCF Grants Committee spent countless hours over the summer and fall reviewing all 126 grant proposals in detail. It would be impossible for the foundation to do this work without the dedicated support of these community volunteers. If you see any of these people out and about town, please thank them for all they do.
Led by Allan Thompson as Chair, the 2023 THCF Grants Committee included Cathy Allie, Ted Bowman, Rev. Aaron Brown, Dr. Robert Cordell, Beth Franklin, Ryan Gibson, Nancy Griego, Lori Halsey, Liesl Hays, Damon Hodges, Mayor Mike Larson, Dave Mayta, Ritchie Momon, Joe Mullins, Steve Noll, Tom Rohr, Merideth Rose, Dr. Beth Rosemergey, DeeAnn Stock, Trish Totta, and Dr. Joy Vann-Hamilton.
During the Competitive Grants Luncheon event, there were several members present from THCF's Legacy Society, which is comprised of individuals who have generously included the Foundation in their estate plans. These new members were recognized for their deep commitment to philanthropy and their legacy of giving back to the community: Bob Glaser, Gerald Rooker, Brent Schondelmeyer & Lee Williams, John & Karen Schuler, and Lennie Wyre. The luncheon provided an opportunity for the foundation to acknowledge and thank these individuals for their generous support. Their contributions and foresight have helped to ensure that the Foundation will continue to make a positive impact on our communities for years to come.
As you soak up the warm glow of twinkling lights and holiday cheer over the coming weeks, take a moment to thank someone you know—someone who makes a habit of doing amazing things for their community. For decades, our foundation fundholders have been creating positive change by providing millions of dollars in funding through competitive community grants, educational scholarships, field-of-interest funds, and more.
Their work has transformed the lives of countless individuals, families, and organizations throughout our Eastern Jackson County community and beyond. For all that they do, I am truly thankful. By working together, we can create a better world for all of us to live, work, and serve, not just during the holidays but for generations to come.
Phil Hanson is the President and CEO of Truman Heartland Community Foundation, a public charity committed to improving area communities by promoting and serving private giving for the public good. Founded in 1982, THCF serves individuals who, through their private giving, wish to support the public good in the most tax-wise and effective manner. For more information, visit www.thcf.org or call 816-836-8189.
by John Unrein
Momentum is mighty in the game of football. That cliché proved true again on November 18th as the Grain Valley Eagles could not keep momentum on their side in their Class 5 quarterfinal playoff matchup against the Webb City Cardinals. With the game tied at fourteen apiece, a fumble on the one-yard line by the Eagles was recovered by the Cardinals in the end zone with 4:40 remaining in the second quarter.
Webb City would convert that turnover into a go ahead score on a 4th and 19 fade pass from sophomore quarterback Gabe Johnson to junior wide receiver Joseph DeGraffenreid with two minutes remaining in the half.
The legs of Johnson would produce touchdown runs of 90 and 78 yards during the first and third quarters respectively for the Cardinals vaunted rushing attack. Webb City would go on to amass 452 yards rushing on 46 attempts. Grain Valley fought hard to match that offensive production.
Seniors Sal Caldarella and Ty Williams led the charge for the Eagles. Caldarella threw for 271 yards through the air and four touchdowns (with a quarterback rating of 140.8). Williams would rush for 174 yards on 22 attempts and find paydirt in the end zone at the 9:05 mark of the first quarter.
With blood on their uniforms and tears in their eyes both Caldarella and Williams reflected on their playoff run and what this season meant to each of them after the game.
“God is good, and I am blessed to be able to play this sport. I love this senior class. They have been amazing to play football with this season,” Williams said.
“I have been fortunate enough to play football for the Eagles for four years and I would not trade it for anything. The comradery of lifting weights in the summer, pushing a sled, and running hills in 105-degree heat with people you consider your brothers on either side of you is something I will never forget.”
Caldarella could be heard throughout the game urging his teammates not to stop playing until the clock hit zero. “What we did tonight shows the heart of this team. It was an honor to play with these guys. There is truly no better feeling than being an Eagle. The smiles and laughs that would greet you when you walked into the locker room after school each day is something I will always cherish,” Caldarella said.
The Eagles 10-2 season is highlighted by its 5th consecutive district title with head coach David Allie at the helm. Allie’s wisdom and work ethic has put Grain Valley on the map as a Class 5 football power in the State of Missouri. The Eagles would produce a whopping 464 points scored during their 2023 campaign, while permitting 247 points scored. You must score points in big class Missouri football to make a run in the playoffs. The Eagles have gradually improved each year in that regard during Allie’s tenure.
“The mistake on the goal line and the onside kick (we almost recovered) hurt, but we did not stop fighting. We led at one point and the game was tied three times. Number three for them (Webb City) is slippery. Even though we were chasing our tail at times, I felt like we had a good defensive game plan and were never out of the contest. We just ran out of time with the final score 49 to 35 for them.” Allie said.
“This senior class has believed and bought in. The team we played tonight is a good ball club and so are we. There is no plan or speech you prepare for the team or the media after a loss like this one. The buy in by the kids and the expectations they have set and seeing them live up to them has been special in my time here.”
Eagles quarterback Sal Caldarella completes the play action fake to Ty Williams prior to looking down field for a completion. Photo credit: Valley News staff
Head coach David Allie addresses the Eagles football team after the game. Photo credit: Valley News staff
The Eagles defense prepares to stop the Cardinals' offensive attack. Photo credit: Valley News staff
A Lenexa man, 28-year-old Robert Cox, died Wednesday following a wreck on westbound I-70 at mile marker 25 near Grain Valley shortly after 2:00pm. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) crash report, Cox, a passenger in the 2004 Ford Excursion, was pronounced dead at 2:52pm at Centerpoint Medical Center. The Missouri State Highway Patrol report also states the driver of the vehicle, 72 year-old James Clark of Helena, Montana, was transported to Centerpoint Medical Center with serious injuries.
According to the report, the Ford Excursion had slowed for traffic on I-70 when a 2022 International semi truck driven by 34 year-old Andrew Johnson of Lees Summit struck the rear of the vehicle, pushing it into a guardrail. The semi truck driven by Johnson then struck another semi truck.
Grain Valley, Oak Grove, and Odessa police departments as well as Jackson County and Lafayette County Sheriff's Departments assisted at the scene which closed a portion of I-70 Wednesday afternoon.
The full report can be found at Missouri State Highway Patrol - Crash Report Details (mo.gov).
The Grain Valley High School Theatre Department will present "Into the Woods" Thursday, November 16th - Saturday, November 18th at Grain Valley High School. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students online ($12/adults and $10/students at the door). Tickets may be purchased online at ShowTix4U – Free Online Ticketing – Schools, Community, Regional.
James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone's favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece... and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching. The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.
One of the most beloved traditions of the holiday season in Grain Valley returns the weekend of Thanksgiving. The Santa Bus has released its 2023 schedule: Santa’s 2023 Schedule | GV Santa.
For those who are new to Grain Valley, the Santa Bus has been driving Santa up and down every street in Grain Valley since 1996, allowing Grain Valley's young and young at heart to have a visit with Santa on his decked out bus. There is no cost to visit with Santa.
The 2023 bus route is as follows:
“A(Yellow) Nov. 25th | 9:00 AM until approx. 7 PM (First Saturday after Thanksgiving)
Grayleigh Park, Rosewood, Whispering Park, and Whitney Hills
(Green) Nov 26th 10 AM until appox 7 PM (First Sunday after Thanksgiving)
(Orange) Dec. 2nd | 9 AM until approx. 7 PM (Second Saturday after Thanksgiving) Everything between 40 Hwy and I-70
(Purple) Dec. 3rd | 10:00 AM until approx. 7 PM (Second Sunday after Thanksgiving)
Everything between 40Hwy and Eagles Pkwy including Cypress St & Broadway East of Buckner-Tarsney, and Winding Creek Subdivision
Tuesday Dec 5th Blue Springs Christmas Tree Lighting. 6:15PM – Till the Line is done.
(Blue) Dec 9th | 9 AM until approx. 7 PM (Third Saturday after Thanksgiving)
Everything boarded by Buckner Tarsney on the east, Sni A Bar on the north, and Cross Creek Dr on the west.
(No Color) Dec. 10th | 10:00 AM until approx. 7 PM (Third Sunday after Thanksgiving )
Everything boarded by Buckner Tarsney on the east, by Sni A Bar on the south and west, and Eagles Pkwy (AA) on the north.
Dec. 15th 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM Brass Armadillo
(Red) Dec. 16th | 9:00 AM until approx. 7 PM (Second Saturday before Christmas)
Everything boarded by Cross Creek Dr on the east, Sni A Bar on the northeast, and Eagles Pkwy (AA) on the north
(Dark Grey) Dec. 17th | 11AM until approx. 7 PM (Last Sunday before Christmas)
Graystone Estates, Hoot Owl, Creekside and Eagles Ridge Sub-Divisions. As well as any areas that were missed due to time constraints or weather.
Specific times in your neighborhood should be similar to times of previous years. If you have very young babies, please let Santa know if it’s too cold to bring them to the Bus. Santa will come inside for them.
The Santa Bus has a Facebook group where updates are posted: https://www.facebook.com/groups/832200946821497/ . Volunteers ask that you not message to ask about their location, as they are not able to provide estimates due the uncertainty of how many children Santa will be visiting at each location.
Donations of new or gently used stuffed animals or monetary donations are welcome to support Santa's travels. More information can be found on the Santa Bus website: GV Santa | Get your pictures here!.
by Denise Sullivan, MS, CNWE
Nutrition and Health Education Field Specialist
MU Extension Health and Human Sciences
We carve them into jack-o-lanterns and make lots of pie, but the versatility of the pumpkin goes far beyond these common uses. From muffins to soups, adding pumpkin can give a boost of nutrition a variety of recipes.
This bright orange member of the squash family is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids, that, when converted to vitamin A in the body, performs many important functions in overall health. When beta-carotene is mentioned, we often think of eye health, and rightfully so, as Vitamin A is key to how the retina absorbs and process light.
Current research also indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases, as well as some degenerative aspects of aging. As a high fiber vegetable, pumpkin also helps to lend a feeling of fullness and satiety, and aids in maintaining digestive health.
It’s important to remember that the pumpkin you choose for a jack-o-lantern won’t be the best pumpkin for cooking. When selecting a pumpkin for cooking, look for a "pie pumpkin" or "sweet pumpkin." These are smaller than the typical jack-o-lantern pumpkins and the flesh is sweeter and less watery.
Look for a pumpkin with 1 to 2 inches of stem left. If the stem is cut down too low the pumpkin will decay quickly. Avoid pumpkins with blemishes and soft spots. It should feel heavy and shape is unimportant, so a lopsided pumpkin is not necessarily a bad pumpkin. Figure one pound of raw, untrimmed pumpkin for each cup finished pumpkin puree.
To prepare your pumpkin, start by removing the stem with a sharp knife and cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and scrape away all of the stringy mass. This is a messy job, so work on a newspaper covered surface for an easy clean-up. Separate the seeds for roasting for a tasty snack. Remove any pulp from the seeds with several cold water rinses and drain on paper towels. Toss seeds with a small amount of olive oil and season with your favorite spice…I like garlic powder and cumin. Roast on a foil covered pan at 250 degrees for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Pumpkins seeds make for a tasty, high fiber snack.
Oven roasting is a common and easy way to prepare pumpkin and one of the best ways to bring out the flavor. Place pumpkin, cut side down on a foil lined pan at 350 degrees for one hour or until fork tender. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, remove the peel using a small sharp knife and your fingers. Put the peeled pumpkin in a food processor and puree or use a food mill, ricer, strainer or potato masher to form a puree.
Pumpkin puree freezes well for later use. Measure cooled puree into one cup portions, place in ridged freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace or pack into zip closure bags. Label, date and freeze for up to one year.
If you are considering canning pumpkin, it is important to note that it can only be canned in cubed form and not pureed, due to product density. As a low acid food, pumpkin must be pressure canned. For complete canning instructions, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation website at: https://nchfp.uga.edu/tips/fall/pumpkins.html
The pumpkin is the inspiration for all kinds of seasonal spicy concoctions, often on the sweeter side of the spectrum. This savory recipe is a great way to give a nutritional boost to another fall favorite…chili. Trust me- try this for your next tailgate party and your guests will never even know it’s there!
Makes 8 (1 cup) servings
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (cored, seeded and chopped)
2 jalapeño peppers (seeded and finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 pound ground turkey
1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (or 2 cups frozen)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
1 can kidney beans or black beans (or both!)
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
2. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add turkey and cook until browned.
4. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium low then add beans.
6. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more.
7. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.
Calories: 193, Total Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 242mg, Total Carbohydrate: 17 g, Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Total Sugars: 5 g
Recipe adapted from the USDA Mixing Bowl.
The following information is derived from Grain Valley Police Department daily calls service log for the week of November 7-14, 2023.
November 7, 2023
300 Blk Front
1000 Blk Eagle Ridge
200 Blk NW Sni-A-Bar Pkwy
Blue Branch Trail
600 Blk SW Lakeview Dr
Motor vehicle accident
800 Blk SW Lakeview Dr
Indian Creek/Lakeview Dr
100 Blk SW Eagles Pkwy
Stealing from auto
November 8, 2023
1300 Blk NW Sycamore
300 Blk SW Creekridge Dr
1400 Blk NW High View Dr
700 Blk N Main
Leaving scene accident
700 Blk N Main
November 9, 2023
700 Blk Main
700 Blk N Main
1400 Blk NW Persimmon Dr
1600 Blk NE Crunley St
604 SW Whitestone Dr
Leaving scene accident
100 Blk Rock Creek Dr
1000 Christie Ln
1300 NW Crestwood
1300 NW Sycamore
600 Blk NW Thiem
1300 Blk Golfview
Motor Vehicle accident
1400 Blk S Minter
November 10, 2023
Main St/ 40 Hwy
Southbound BB/Pink Hill
100 Blk Main/100 Blk W Broadway
Eagles Parkway/Cross Creek
100 Blk Main
700 Blk Main
200 Blk SW Michael Dr
1000 Blk Christie Ln
1200 Eagle Ridge Dr
November 11, 2023
1000 Blk NW Scenic Dr
500 Blk NW Willow
1000 Blk NW Crestwood
1000 Blk Eagles Pkwy
1000 Blk E Ryan
1000 Blk Christie Ln
Motor vehicle accident
700 Blk Joseph Cir
November 12, 2023
Careless and imprudent
200 Blk Hoot Owl
November 13, 2023
100 Blk SW Eagles Pkwy
1000 Blk NW Eagle Ridge Dr
400 Blk Cock Creek Ln
1000 NW Baytree Dr
BB/NE Greystone Blvd
200 S Main St
1000 Blk Buckner Tarsney Rd
November 14, 2023
1000 blk Blue Branch Dr
1000 blk SW Eagles Pkwy
1000 Blk NW Hickory Ct
900 Blk NW Valley Woods
1000 blk SW Eagles
100 blk SW Eagles
Additional calls for service:
Suicidal subject: 2
CIT/Mental Health Welfare Check: 2
by Michael Smith
The Grain Valley girls basketball team is entering a new era.
The best player in the history of the program, Grace Slaughter, graduated in May and is now playing for the University of Missouri women’s basketball team.
Last season, she was the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year and the DiRenna award winner, averaging 27.86 points on 52.3 percent shooting and 39.6 percent from beyond the arc.
She also had 5.89 rebounds and 1.18 assists per game during her 2022-23 campaign; holds the school record for most career points and points in a season; and is 15th all-time in career points among high school girls players.
Replacing a player like that is nearly impossible, but veteran head coach Randy Draper and his players said they can still compete well in Suburban White Conference competition and in the playoffs.
“We are learning to score ourselves,” senior Annabelle Totta said. “Grace was really good for our team, but we’re going to have to adjust. A lot of us have been playing together for a long time, so the chemistry will still be there.”
“We have a solid group of shooters and passers.”
Grain Valley had other key players graduate, including Ella Clyman, who was a good rebounder and interior defender, and Camryn Bown, who was a solid perimeter defender and a good 3-point shooter. Senior McKenah Sears also will not be able to play this season despite being a senior due to a lower-body injury.
The Eagles still have some players returning who were a part of the rotation in 2022-23, and will likely sport some guard-heavy lineups this season.
Senior Finley LaForge will be one of those coming back as she is a combo guard who can shoot from the outside and pass well.
“I may have to fill in a different role this year,” LaForge said. “I may have to bring the ball up more. I can drive it when needed and kick it out.”
Totta is a high-motor guard who is great at scoring on the fast break and has the speed to beat her defender on the dribble drive.
“I am really not much of a shooter but I like to find our shooters and get the ball in their hands, so they can score for us,” Totta said.
Senior Meghan Knust is another returner from last year’s rotation. She’s a forward who has a high motor and will help fill in the void left by Slaughter and Clyman on the boards. Junior Camryn Kelly also comes back with some varsity experience as she came off the bench to provide steady 3-point shooting.
Two players who didn’t play last season, but were a part of the rotation during the 2021-22 season, will return for their senior seasons. Emma Thiessen is a high-motor guard who can handle the ball and has the quickness to beat defenders off the dribble.
Emma Jane Ogle missed last season due to a knee injury and now she is fully healthy and will provide the Eagles some shooting from the outside and rebounding.
“She’s a heck of an athlete that we just added,” Draper said of Ogle. “Getting her back really helps our basketball team. She’s strong and she’ll really help us on the glass.
“Emma sat out last season and she’s back playing.”
Newcomers who could see some time on the floor include junior Pyper Hartigan and senior Ava Bollinger along with sophomores Addison Seyfert and Aspen Reed.
“Those are two sophomores that are going to play a lot,” Draper said of Reed and Seyfert. “They are going to make a lot of baskets.”
“Aspen is someone who can do a little bit of everything and Addy can shoot it.”
Now that the Eagles have a different team without an elite player like Slaughter, there will be some adjustments by Draper and his players. One thing that won’t change is to have his team focus on getting out in transition and utilizing a variety of press defenses to try and force turnovers.
“We’re going to do some things differently,” Draper said. “There is no question the team has changed.
“We did some good things over the summer and we’re going to have to get that to translate to this winter when opposing teams try to stop certain stuff. I really like our team. I don’t know when it will happen, but we’re going to be really good.”
Added LaForge: “We’re a quick team and we all have quick hands. When we rebound the ball, we are going to get out and push the ball. We all run the wings well and finish well.”
Grain Valley will open the season with a game against Ruskin on Nov. 27 in the first round of the WInnetonka Invitational.
Grain Valley senior Emma Jane Ogle returns to play for the girls basketball team after missing last season with a knee injury. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley senior Emma Thiessen prepares to unleash a jump shot during practice Tuesday. Photo credit: Michael Smith
by Michael Smith
It’s not easy to replace any starter for a high school basketball team.
It’s even more difficult when the prior year’s squad lost four starters to graduation. That’s exactly the situation the Grain Valley boys basketball team finds itself in.
The Eagles lost four starters and a bench player to graduation, leaving head coach Andy Herbert with numerous holes to fill in his rotation.
Even while losing so many experienced players from the 2022-23 team, Grain Valley has some savvy players entering the fold who have a high basketball IQ, according to Herbert.
“I really like our group,” Herbert said. “They really enjoy playing basketball and they work at it. We have a really high IQ. They know how to play and know what they’re doing.”
This son and starting guard Eli Herbert agreed.
“I really like our IQ this year,” Eli said. “We are really smart. Like last year, we are so together. We are a tight-knit group and that will help us win a lot of games this year.”
Sophomore Eli Herbert will be the lone returning starter and was one of the best players in the Kansas City area as a freshman. The sharpshooting combo guard averaged 16.9 points, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game and shot 36.6 percent from the field last season, helping lead his team to a solid 18-10 record.
He could be poised for an even bigger year in 2023-24 as he comes back with the most varsity experience.
Also returning are seniors Stylz Blackmon, Jack Schoen and Logan Marcum, all of whom came off the bench last season but are likely to be in the starting lineup this year. Blackmon was a backup forward for the Eagles in 2022-23 and provided the Eagles with solid rebounding and defense.
Schoen, like Herbert, is a combo guard who can handle the ball and is an advanced-level passer. He can also effectively get to the rim on the dribble drive and is a solid perimeter defender.
“When one of us (him or Eli Herbert) gets tired, the other can bring the ball up,” Schoen said. “I am good at getting it in the lane and I can pass it a little bit. I also want to guard the other team’s best player.”
Marcum is an all-around player who can do a little bit of everything. He is a solid shooter, can drive to the basket effectively and can play solid defense.
“Last year, when someone wasn’t playing well, I would come in off the bench and fill their role,” he said. “This year, I will have a bigger role.”
The Eagles have two players who are 6-foot-4 or taller that can fill the hole left behind by last year’s starting forward Rhylan Alcanter. Sophomores Samuel Pendergrass and junior Evan Colson could help Stylz with rebounding an interior defense.
“Sam is a big, strong kid who is a tough matchup under the basket,” Andy Herbert said. “And Evan is a junior and is very skilled and very smart. He’s also a very good passer and shooter.”
“We will be able to have two bigs in the lineup now because Evan can space the floor.”
At the guard position, newcomers like Aaron Barr, Matthew Leonard and Raif Graham could also see minutes with the varsity team and all can be relied upon to handle the ball and pass.
“Matthew has some of the quickest hands I have ever seen,” Eli Herbert said. “Raif will be huge for us. He’s always bringing energy. He’s what we need.”
With so many guards that can handle the ball and bring the ball down the court, the Eagles will look to push the tempo of the offense and get easy looks in transition as often as they can. Last season, the Eagles depended more on halfcourt sets.
“We will be different this year,” Eli Herbert. “We are faster and we can get up and down a little better and I think we are more talented this year, individually.
“Once we get the rebound, we can just get up and go.”
With a team that collectively has a high basketball IQ and versatility, this could be a year the Eagles could make a run at a Suburban White Conference championship and a district title.
“We think we can win our conference and we want to win districts,” Eli said. “We also just want to get better as a team and not necessarily worry about how many games we win.”
From left, Eli Herbert, Jack Schoen and Logan Marcum are three of the four returning rotation players for Grain Valley who will all likely start in 2023-2024. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Sophomore Eli Herbert unleashes an elbow jumper during practice Monday.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Senior Logan Marcum gathers the ball for a layup during a drill in practice Monday. Photo credit: Michael Smith
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
As a teenager in the 1960s I was much too old for dolls. But a troll? Of course, I wanted a “good luck troll” because, as I recall, all you had to do was rub their hair and your wish would come true – or not!
I’m not sure exactly what year I received my giraffe troll, but I’m thinking it was Christmas of 1960. The bigger question is, why do I still have it? I found it in the attic when I was up there searching for Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys and Fort Apache. It was just laying on top of some old “stuff” and not really covered or carefully stored.
I obviously wasn’t too concerned with the preservation of my troll. Big, I repeat BIG mistake. I searched the internet and found several on e-bay selling for $70 to $395 dollars. Like I said, big mistake. So rather than look for my giraffe on Ebay, come to the Historical Society on December 6, 13, or 20 and see my troll along with many other old toys on display. You can even rub its hair, but be gentle, at 60+ years, it is falling out (like most hair when we get older)!
My Lucky Troll, today
Troll dolls were created in 1959 by Danish fisherman and woodcutter Thomas Dam. Dam could not afford a Christmas gift for his young daughter Lila and so he carved a wooden doll from his imagination.
The inspiration came from trolls in old Scandinavian folklore.
According to information I found on the internet, a troll is a being in Nordic folklore, including Norse mythology. In Old Norse sources, beings described as Trolls dwell in isolated areas of rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units, and are rarely helpful to human beings.
In later Scandinavian folklore, trolls became beings in their own right, where they live far from human habitation, are not Christianized, and are considered dangerous to human beings. Depending on the source, their appearance varies greatly; trolls may be ugly and slow-witted, or look and behave exactly like human beings, with no particularly grotesque characteristic about them.
Trolls are sometimes associated with particular landmarks in Scandinavian folklore, which at times may be explained as formed from a troll exposed to sunlight. I also learned on the internet that trolls have a lethal weakness to sunlight. Perhaps that is why my troll is losing its hair! Too much sunlight!
The DreamWorks animated movies, Trolls (2016) Trolls World Tour (2020) and Trolls Band Together (2023) have certainly brought new popularity to the Trolls! But there is nothing like a vintage Troll to help us remember the “good ole days.”